Recent Updates

  • Japan: CPI, Services Producer Price Index (Apr)
  • Korea: Inflation Expectations, Consumer Survey Index (May)
  • US: Advance Trade & Inventories (Apr)
  • Brazil: Construction Index (Mar)
  • UK: GDP Second Release (Q1), Index of Services (Mar), BBA Mortgage & Consumer Lending, Average Precipitation (Apr)
  • *Singapore GDP detail delayed due to technical difficulties from the source*
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Sales Increase Minimally
by Tom Moeller  December 14, 2016

Consumers grew cautious ahead of the holiday spending season. Total retail sales & spending at restaurants nudged 0.1% higher (3.8% y/y) during November following a 0.6% October rise, revised from 0.8%. A 0.4% increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Three-month sales growth eased to 1.2%, its slowest pace since May.

A 0.5% decline (+3.3% y/y) in purchases of motor vehicles &  parts held back last month's overall spending increase. The decline roughly matched a 0.8% drop in unit sales of light vehicles. Excluding autos, overall retail sales improved 0.2% (3.9% y/y) after a 0.6% gain. That was the weakest rise in three months. A 0.5% increase had been expected. 

Retail sales eased slightly last month (+3.6% y/y) after a 0.7% rise. Discretionary spending growth slowed markedly. Purchases at nonstore retailers improved a minimal 0.1% (11.9% y/y) following a strong 1.4% increase. Also weakening were sales at sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores which fell 1.0% (-1.4% y/y) following a 0.7% rise. Building materials & garden equipment store sales increased 0.3% (4.3% y/y) for a second straight month. Gasoline service station sales also improved 0.3% (4.0% y/y) following two months of strong gains with higher prices. To the upside were restaurant sales. Sales at food service & drinking places rose 0.8% (4.9% y/y), a rebound after a 0.3% decline.

Sales in the retail control group, which measures nonauto sales less gasoline & building materials, inched 0.1% higher (3.4% y/y), the weakest gain in three months. Three-month growth improved, however, to 4.1%, the strongest rise since Q2. Sales of furniture & home furnishings gained 0.7% (4.1% y/y) after a 0.5 decline, while sales at electronics & appliance stores ticked 0.1% higher (-3.8% y/y) following five consecutive monthly declines. Clothing & accessory store sales remained unchanged (0.9% y/y) after a 0.1% uptick. Sales of general merchandise stores gained 0.1% (-1.3% y/y) after six consecutive monthly declines. 

In the non-discretionary spending categories, food & beverage store sales increased 0.4% (3.1% y/y) following a 0.7% increase. Purchases at health & personal care stores ticked 0.1% higher (6.2% y/y) following no change.

The retail sales data can be found in Haver's USECON database.

Retail Spending (%) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total Retail Sales & Food Services 0.1 0.6 1.0 3.8 2.3 4.1 3.8
  Excluding Autos 0.2 0.6 0.8 3.9 1.3 3.6 2.7
  Non-Auto Less Gasoline, Building Supplies & Food Services (Control Group) 0.1 0.6 0.3 3.4 3.3 4.0 2.9
Retail Sales -0.0 0.7 1.0 3.6 1.6 3.9 3.8
  Motor Vehicle & Parts -0.5 0.5 1.9 3.3 6.6 6.4 8.3
 Retail Less Autos 0.1 0.8 0.8 3.7 0.2 3.2 2.6
  Gasoline Stations 0.3 2.5 3.6 4.0 -19.4 -2.4 -1.2
Food Service & Drinking Places Sales 0.8 -0.3 0.7 4.9 8.1 6.1 3.7
close
large image